Monday, April 21, 2014

Paulding County

Oh, the road. It never ends.

I was back out on the road earlier today. I don't love exploring on the road as much as exploring in the woods, especially in the Metro ATL, but one thing I really do like is riding back roads from little town to little town, getting a good look at their old main streets and moving on.

I've hit most of the towns close by already, but today I figured I'd head west into Paulding County. It's been a while since I've been out that way, don't really remember what it looks like, and hey, it's right next door.

My brother had planned on joining me but he got buried in family obligations and had to bail. It was probably just as well. I've been putting in long days all week and my pace was decidedly slow.

I headed out through old Mableton and Powder Springs like I often do, forgetting to take pictures, as they seemed so familiar. But instead of turning north, I followed the tracks out of town, off into the unknown, or at least unknown to me. It was a little more woodsy out that way than I expected, and I passed a surprisingly scenic little lake next to a raging creek.

Some Lake

It reminded me of the lakes I'd passed in Florida during CFiTT's and Huracans, back when I was doing CFiTT's and Huracans, and I felt compelled to take a photo.

Somewhere out that way I hung a left on Angam road. It got a little hillier than it had been and before long I'd crossed the borders of the Shire and stepped into the wilderness beyond.


After a few miles of comfortable rollers I made it to the little town of Hiram where I had to stop for a train.


A five-locomotive train, no less. Fortunately there was a bridge over the tracks to the right, and I got a good look at their restored little main street.

Hiram Main Street 1 Hiram Main Street 2

Italian restaurant, eh? I'll have to keep that in mind.

A few more twists and turns took me up over Cochrans Ridge, which featured a better downhill than I'd felt like I'd paid for, up over the Silver Comet and into Dallas.

Old Dallas New Dallas

Georgia that is. Dallas Georgia.

I tanked up at the local Racetrack but I wasn't hungry yet. I'd actually porked up a bit all week and started feeling like working some of it off, so even if I'd been hungry, I might have abstained.

On my way out of town to the north, a quick side loop took me past a bunch of facilities in odd proximity to one another. First there was the Pauding County Senior Center. Then I passed the Juvenile Detention Center, which was directly across the street from a ball field. Imagine being on a local youth baseball team and seeing Juvi looming there across the street every day at practice. Maybe that's the idea though. "Baseball good. Crime bad." Just down the road was some kind of massive gravel and concrete distribution facility. Next door to that, the infamous Paulding Probation Detention Center.


Sir, by your leave, sir?

Carry on.

I took Memorial Drive north and Due West Road almost due east. The community of Due West wasn't especially photogenic, and after that I forgot I even had a camera on me. Somewhere in there I started feeling the hunger. Actually not the hunger. The weakness. The antecedent of hunger. The hunger before you know you're hungry.

I didn't stop though. I had plenty of porkulence to replenish my dwindling power supply. I did slow down a bit. I think I need to adjust my seat too. It's not as comfortable as it once was when I roll my hips forward. It might just be wearing out and I might just be sinking into it more these days, but maybe if I tip the front down ever so slightly...

At length I reached Kennesaw and passed the Thai place.

Mmmm. Pad Kee Mao.

No, no. There's Pad Kee Mao down the street from my place. Move along, move along...

And I did, up over the shoulder of Kennesaw Mountain, down into Marietta, through the nearly deserted square. None of the shops were open. Thus no one to shop at them. That's right, it's Easter. It took a second to put that together.

Phase 1 - The weakness.

Phase 2 - The feeble mind.

Phase 3 - The Hunger.

It was nearly upon me.

I kept moving south. The last leg of my journey. Along Atlanta Road, through Smyrna, down King Springs, up over that one punishing hill, and at East-West Connector, not a mile from home, I felt like I couldn't possibly climb that last climb without addressing The Hunger, with which I was now wracked.

To the left lay several delicious options - Pizza, Thai, more Thai, and more Pizza. I opted for More Thai, at my favorite local Thai place - Curry Curry.

Their Pad Kee Mao hits the spot. Reliably.

Pad Kee Mao

It is apparently shiny and out of focus too. Hmmm. I wonder why.

Ever ridden home with a to-go box of Pad Kee Mao on your road bike? I have. Now.

And so it was. I plugged the route into Google Maps when I got home and it was a disappointing 60-odd miles. It seemed like it had been more in the 75 mile range, but I guess that's another side effect of The Hunger.

There are a bunch more little towns out that way too. Now that I have a sense of how far out it is, I'll have to come up with a loop that takes me through more of them.

Until then...

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